Remember that House of Savoy? By a total coincidence, I left one capital of the House of Savoy in Chambery, France (1295 – 1563) to travel to another capital of the House of Savoy in Turin, Italy (1563 – 1946). Both cities are sites of a Residence of the House of Savoy — neither of which I had time to visit owing to the Judith‘s museums in both cities.
Also I neglected to determine: the city is known as Turin if you are French, it is Torino if you are Italian, but if you are simply a bumbling American what is it called?
However, I made that disastrous mistake known as an assumption. Because you know what they say “when you assume” … And sadly whoever they are … are correct. So at this point you can guess that I assumed a painting would be on display when it was in reality <cringe> “in storage.” And you would be correct.
How could I make such a mistake? The mesmerizing depiction of Judith in the Orientalism style that is housed in the GAM is the work of Carlo Bonatto Minella, one of the favorite artistic sons of Turin. The GAM is one of the smaller museums in Turin, so I assumed that the Minella is one of their most valued paintings and that they would always have it on display — proud of the city’s son and all that. Kind of like the Louvre, and DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, who they would NEVER just put <cringe> “in storage.” Therefore, based on my assumption, I made two additional mistakes: I did not email the GAM in advance about the display of Minella’s Judith and I did add a special side trip to Turin just to see one painting.
And at this point you can guess that I made that special side trip to see just one painting that ended up being <cringe> “in storage.”
Of course based on that assumption, I walked the 8 blocks from the train station (Google maps added 4 blocks I did not need to walk) and purchased the museum entry before I asked in which room the Minella was displayed, which led to the fateful words <cringe>“in storage.” At that moment, rather than falling on the floor in a heap of tears I chose my stunned face while I processed what had just happened. Then I offered to fall on the floor in a heap of tears if that was the key to getting <cringe> “in storage” to see Minella’s Judith. However, no one budged at the prospect of an unhinged woman acting like a toddler. Perhaps they had previously seen something similar and were immune.
The bad news is I did not see the exotic painting of Judith by Carlo Bonatto Minella. The good news is the GMAC is actually a lovely small gallery of contemporary art AND they had a special exhibit of Amedeo Modigliani. I knew little of Modigliani but now I know much more about his short life (1884-1920) and how women in his life infused his unique style.
Maybe if he had lived longer, he would have eventually painted a Judith.